Splish, Splash, Splosh

Why is water so darn soothing?

It covers 70% of the earth’s surface and makes up about 60% of our bodies.  It’s both constructive and destructive.  Without it, all life–plant and animal–would cease to exist.  Water is an all-powerful force that has many necessary and practical purposes, but it has other uses and effects that are soothing to our mental and emotional well-being.

Speaking for myself, water has a way of clearing my mind and easing my spirit.  I never realized just how much a hold water has on me until I started traveling in the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Coast.  I could stay at the foot of a waterfall for uncounted minutes, watching the ever-changing movement of the water falling from above, listening to the sound of water hitting the rocks, feeling the coolness and the spray on my face, breathing in the freshness of the water cleansing nature.  Similarly, I find a peace like no other when I walk the wet sand of a beach, breathe in the salty sea air, hear the crashing and receding ocean waves, and feel an almost overwhelming freedom being at the edge of the great expanse of water that goes on as far as the eye can see.

I could be mistaken, but I don’t think I’m the only one who has a love affair with water.  If I was, then waterfront property anywhere, from lakes and streams to oceans, wouldn’t cost so much; whirlpools and swimming pools wouldn’t be so popular; soaking in hot tubs or baths wouldn’t be prime activities.  And what about all those indoor mini-fountains and water relaxation CDs?  The other night I played a CD with ocean sounds to relax and put me to sleep because I had trouble slowing down my racing mind (it actually worked, by the way).

Perhaps water is soothing because its repetitive qualities (i.e., sound, look, and feel) put us into a hypnotic or meditative state.  Maybe its zen aspects, affecting both body and mind, are part of its appeal.  Even our subconscious connection to nature possibly draws us to it.  Well, whatever the reason, water seems to put me and a lot of other people in our happy place.  Why can’t we all make our own world a little better by going to our happy place tonight–get out the candles, pour the wine, and relax in the calming water of a nice, hot bath?

Why, indeed.


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